BURSCHEID, Germany, October 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Modular front seat structure is benchmark in lightweight construction
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Johnson Controls, a global leader in automotive seating, interiors and electronics, has introduced a modular front seat structure that sets a new benchmark in lightweight construction. It also is the first product that demonstrates the combined expertise Johnson Controls is offering customers following the acquisition of C. Rob. Hammerstein (CRH) and Keiper.
Johnson Controls will provide Daimler with more than 30 different versions of the front seat structure for several Mercedes-Benz models.
"We are excited by the introduction of this modular seat structure because it meets stringent industry requirements and achieves a new level of lightweight construction, believed to be the lowest-weight structure of its kind in the market," said Beda Bolzenius, president of Johnson Controls Automotive Experience.
The innovative seat structure was achieved through the combined contributions of Johnson Controls, CRH and Keiper. To realize a 4.0 to 6.4 kilogram weight reduction per vehicle, designers utilized a modular system featuring the latest lightweight recliner mechanisms and drives. This includes CRH's lightweight seat rails and electric spindle drives, using all synthetic materials for the tilt adjustment module rather than the conventional use of steel. The recliner, which comes from Keiper's Taumel 2000 series, offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight.
By taking new approaches to component construction and design, further weight savings were achieved. For example, the design of the integrated seatbelt buckle eliminates the need for a crash locking system and saves weight. The same applies to the side of the seat frame, which can withstand loads of up to 850 megapascal as the result of an efficient combination of high-strength steel and a new component design.
The manual structure for compact and medium segment vehicles, weighs between 9.5 and 12.3 kilograms, depending on the configuration. The fully electrified structure weighs 13 kilograms. Both of these are believed to set a new industry benchmark.
Johnson Controls' modular structure combines a lightweight seat design and other innovative solutions and meets the demanding Mercedes-Benz specifications. The backrest also provides increased spaciousness, as the basic structure has an extremely slim and compact design. This translates into more elbow and leg room, especially for rear seat passengers.
At the same time, the wide-ranging adjustment options - especially in length and height - of the structure enable an ergonomic and comfortable sitting position. The sense of comfort is increased by a comfortable cushion thickness and easy-to-operate adjustment options.
"It is increasingly challenging to find a balance between lightweight and high performance. Through the integration of electronics, such as rear seat entertainment systems in the headrest and a growing number of features, automotive seats have to serve multiple purposes," Bolzenius said. "Our new structure responds to the demands for strength requirements through patented solutions that create optimal force distribution enabled by the unique arrangement of drives and components. At the same time, we incorporated new materials and material combinations, such as high-strength steels and polyamide inserts."
About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in over 150 countries. Our 154,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful.
About Johnson Controls Automotive Experience
Johnson Controls is a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics. We support all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through our products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. With 200 locations worldwide, we are where our customers need us to be. Consumers have enjoyed the comfort and style of our products, from single components to complete interiors. With our global capability we supply more than 30 million cars per year.
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Johnson Controls GmbH
SOURCE Johnson Controls GmbH Automotive Experience